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Last Saturday I took off the engine cover... mostly just to explore. The Heat Exchanger (oil cooler) <part #996 107 025 05> had a layer of "orangeish white" crystaline stuff on it and a connecting hose (about 18" away from the cooler) had also apparently leaked at a twist-on connector to another hose. The "stuff" was all very dry but the hose connection did appear to be slightly moist.

What is this stuff that leaked? Is is corrosive? Is this something that should be checked out by a mechanic under the car's warranty?

Everything else under the "hood" looked just fine...

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Like Loren said it is a oil-to-water heat exchanger. Without seeing your car it sounds like a small coolant leak and the dried coolant is the crystals you see.

There is coolant in the exchanger. The coolant is used to heat the oil and then when the oil is hot the coolant is used to cool the oil. Jeff

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Loren & Tool Pants... many thanks for the quick answer.

Just a follow up question... is the heat exchanger a closed loop system (kind of like an air conditioner, I guess) for which if the coolant is lost it is gone forever. Or is the device recharged using engine coolant??

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